If you're keeping track of luxury carmakers dipping their toes into yachting waters, add Lexus to the list.
What is it with big-name carmakers and luxury sports yachts? Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and Bugatti have all launched or shown concepts of yachts that are slick, fast, and expensive. Now we can add Lexus to the gang with the Lexus Sports Yacht, which was recently introduced at the Miami International Boat Show.
Toyota Motor Corporation has built sport utility yachts under the greater corporate wing since 1997, but the brand is Ponam, not Toyota, and it is sold only in Japan. Toyota president Akio Toyoda, described as a “master driver” in a corporate release, is responsible for the nautical Lexus. Toyoda was inspired when testing a Ponam model that it was time to design a premium performance yacht under the Lexus brand to represent the Lexus lifestyle internationally.
The 42-foot Lexus Sports Yacht is constructed of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP), a material used in race cars and supercars. The stepped hull design that reduces drag and improves handling weighs 2,200 pounds less than a conventional hull made from fiberglass reinforced plastic on similar-sized yachts. Like the Ponam yachts, which use Toyota engines, the Sports Yacht uses homegrown power plants. In this case, the power comes from two Lexus V8 race car engines that produce a combined 885 horsepower. Top speed for the Sports Yacht is 43 knots or 49 miles per hour, according to CNN Money.
The yacht is designed for recreational touring with up to eight passengers. It has no staterooms or other sleeping quarters, but it does have a small galley and a shower.
There are no current plans to take the Lexus Sports Yacht beyond the concept stage at this time, according to the corporate statement. It could be Lexus wants to test the market for a luxury performance yacht in the U.S. It also serves as a message that Lexus can make impressive performance craft for the water. If Toyota decides not to go forward in the international yacht market, taking the concept out for a day could be a fun perk for high-performing executives.